New Singapore F1 race could be held at night

Updated: May 11, 2007, 11:20 AM ET
Associated Press

SINGAPORE -- Singapore will join the Formula One circuit in fall 2008 and could hold the first race under lights.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has previously said he would like to include several night races on the F1 circuit, especially in Asia, in a bid to make their broadcast times more accessible to television viewers in Europe and North America.

"Singapore is going to be the leader with the street race at night. Everyone's excited about the idea," Ecclestone said Friday by teleconference from Spain.

Teams and drivers have had mixed emotions about racing at night, with safety concerns the main issue.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran said the government is still evaluating the safety considerations of holding the race under lights.

"Safety is of paramount concern to all of us," he said. "Therefore, we will proceed with a night race only if the safety and operational requirements of all parties ... are fully met. If not, we will revert to a day race."

The city-state secured the rights to hold the race for five years, with the option for Formula One Administration to extend it for five more years.

Singapore has been pushing hard for the race. Last month, Australian F1 driver Mark Webber tested Singapore's three-mile street circuit in a Porsche 911 GT3.

Singapore's announcement comes a day after Ecclestone confirmed that Valencia, Spain, would also stage an F1 race in 2008 on a street circuit. The eastern Spanish city will hold F1 races for seven years.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press